Former Microsoft ClearType Lead: iPad will Kill Kindle, TabletPC

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Windows Weekly co-host Paul Thurrott, who was initially nonplussed about Apple's iPad but is slightly warming to the device, has linked to a blog post from Bill Hill, former head of ClearType at Microsoft, who offers:

I predict it will be a huge success. It will cause the same kind of mayhem among TabletPC and eBook manufacturers that the iPod and iPhone did in their respective market categories.

Hill cites the great look, but says more importantly Apple understands the transition from "computing devices" to "consumer devices", while the Kindle was merely a "transitional device" while TabletPC were basically laptop PC's with tablet functionality grafted on.

The only doubts he has is in Apple's "clone" of his Microsoft ClearType, which he claims blurs at small sizes and on lower-pitch screens like the iPad's 122ppi. It might make sustained reading less enjoyable. All around he seems bullish, however, running Windows on a MacBook Pro, and now using an iPhone as well:

last week I dropped my Windows Mobile phone in the water. It was DOA when brought back to the surface. So now I need a new phone. No way am I buying a Windows Mobile replacement. I really grew to hate that phone. I've checked out the new Google phones, and I don't like them much either. No, I want a great customer experience - so I'll go with Apple.

I'm not an Apple Fanboy. But you have to give credit where it's due. From being browbeaten into a mere 2-3% PC market share several years ago, Apple has parlayed its expertise in "consumer computing" into astounding success. I expect the iPad to continue that success.

The pixel density is an interesting concern, especially from someone of Hill's background. The iPhone is 163ppi, the iPod nano 204ppi. Anyone think 122ppi will give them problems?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Former Microsoft ClearType Lead: iPad will Kill Kindle, TabletPC

66 Comments

I really don't know... doesn't really feel like there is as much anticipation and want for the iPad as there was for the first release of the iPhone. I guess it will be a wait and see kinda situation.. could go either way.. huge success or normal wave of sales. Don't really feel like it will be a total failure though.
http://www.diverse-group.com/menu/blog.html

@ Byron
Goodness, when will you guys understand that it's not about the hardware, the amount of GHZ, Gigs or Ram that a makes a product successful. Anyone can put a really powerful piece of hardware together, the reason why Apple is so successful is because they understand the fact that Software is king. Nerds might give a damn about how many Polygons per second a tablet can push around, the general consumer couldn't care less.
What matters to them is usability, content and the way its delivered. Can PC makers design a UI as fluid and beautiful as the iPad's? Do they have the ability to deliver an App Store with over 140,000 choices? Do they have the number one content deliverer for music and video that is iTunes? Do they have book deals in place that will allow them to compete with iBooks?
I think you'll find that the answer to most of those questions is no, they don't have an answer to Apple's ecosystem. This is the exact reason that Acer don't want to compete with the iPad.
http://www.macrumors.com/2010/02/01/netbook-market-leader-acer-not-plann...
Given the choice between and iPad and a Netbook, I'll pick the iPad all day.

Maybe the iPad will be more popular, but I'd take even an old HP TC1100 or Acer TravelMate C200 over the iPad. Any tablet without a Wacom pen and the software to leverage it is useless. It's a shame, because the iPad hit it right on the form factor, screen, and battery life, only to fall very short with the lack of any sort of active EMR digitizer pen. A capacitive stylus wouldn't be quite the same, especially if there's no palm rejection that could be done by simply bringing a Wacom pen near the screen.
Of course, I do have to admit that you can't just stick a keyboard-and-mouse interface with a Tablet Input Panel on a tablet and call it a suitable interface. Each given form factor and its input methods need a suitable interface to work efficiently.
The best example I have seen yet is just a concept, though-and, yes, it's the Microsoft Courier. Why? It makes excellent use of touch, but at the same time, they retained what looks like a Wacom pen so the user can write and draw. Like pen and paper, only easier for me to work with and more versatile. It distills my main uses for a Tablet PC (OneNote and SketchBook Pro) into a single, purpose-built device.

That's really my #1 concern - a bright, active, relatively low resolution screen might strain my old man eyes during long reading sessions.

@Dragonfly
Yes. I think you're spot on. I imagine the iPad won't have an astounding number of adopters at first. However, once it catches on, and I do think it will, it will truly revolutionize the consumer computing market...and PC makers will be struggling from behind to compete.

I would not go that far to say that. Yes, the iPad "could" potentially put a dagger into the Kindle and the TablePC. It still has a long way to go as far as I'm concerned. The iPad in its current version was probably built to be a concept model but SJ decided to everyone in an effort to gauge the public's response/interest. My guess is that Apple will probably make some hardware/software changes to get more excited about buying it.

@Dragonfly
Can PC makers design a UI as fluid and beautiful as the iPad’s? Windows 7
Do they have the ability to deliver an App Store with over 140,000 choices?
Windows apps & games? Most iphone apps were designed to bring simple web experiences to the small 3.5" mobile screen. With a tablet or netbook, you have the full web or windows apps to run.
Do they have the number one content deliverer for music and video that is iTunes? Umm..can you install itunes on windows? Yes you can..
Do they have book deals in place that will allow them to compete with iBooks?
Can you run windows versions of kindle, b&N reader, and many others?
The only thing an ipad offers is a seamless multitouch experience using your fingers. That can be fun and i won't argue. Some of the experiences with multitouch will be worthwhile..enough so that i'll buy one for the kiddo. But if you want something truly functional that just works (imagine trying to print something with the ipad) and worth the money, you'll get a PC tablet, netbook, or small laptop.

@Dragonfly:
More than nerds care about power when that power allows you to play games like Mass Effect 2!
More then nerds care about power when that power allows you to play a Blu Ray movie!
More than nerds care about power when that power allows you search the handwritten notes for school work! (Unless only nerds care about an education).
Finally more then nerds care about power when power allows to experience the FULL INTERNET Flash content and or any other content that Apple doesn't want you experience.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the allure of Apple devices and they make very good, attractive and fairly easy to use stuff. But how can an iPad replace something like a tm2? The iPad simply doesn't do enough. Sure its a nice little device, but while iPad users will be struggling with 1/3 of the web breaking because they won't have support for things like Flash and Silverlight, Tablet PC users will be zipping through the content and enjoying it.
It really is a matter that form can only go so far before even the least neardy person is going to need and want function as well.

I think that many are missing a bigger picture. Tablets have been around for years and for the most part failed to transition into mainstream use. Bigger and better nuts and bolts are not going to garner better adoption of this type of platform. You need the public to embrace it, and more importantly you need developers to embrace it. Since they are garenteed to have millions of potential consumers (iPhone and iPod touch owners), developers are more likely to develop for the iPod ecosystem. Like it or not Apple can create a buzz that orthers can not. By "introducing" the tablet the platform as a whole will bennifit. Look at the smart phone market for an example. Prior to the iPhone, smartphones were primarily used by business or the nerd crowd, now the market in general is moving more and more toward convergence devices.
Even if you are not a fan of th iPad, if you want to advance tablet computing, the ipad is needed.

@Rene: since you are the one bringing this up,
first get your FACTS straight. You ask:

Anyone think 122ppi will give them problems?

Nobody will, because iPads reported pixel density
is 132dpi, not 122 (as opposed to iPhone's 163dpi).
Second –and you can quote me on that free of
charge– nobody will be bothered by that, because
nobody but anally-retentive bloggers with nothing
better to write about cares about that granular
a detail.
Moreover, it is precisely because of bigger pixel
size, that the iPad's display is physically 7.8, or
ALMOST 8 TIMES BIGGER than that of the iPhone.
Had the iPad shared pixel density with its younger
"sibling," while retaining the number of pixels
[1024x768px=786432 @ 163dpi], it'd effectively
be but 5.12 times bigger than the iPhone/Touch,
and the overall size of the iPad would have to be
downgraded accordingly.
Clearly, a physically bigger display is more readable
at a glance at "normal" distance from readers' eyes
than one ever so dense but physically smaller which
would necessitate that device be brought closer to
the face in order to be readable at all. U H.A.P.P.Y™ ?

@cMc
It's really more basic than this. People love keyboards and mice. I mean the iPad has an option for a keyboard. Hmmmm.
Few people really need a touch screen tablet and the iPad doesn't do anything that you can't do today. It's slick and pretty but another device? Really, tablets just don't do anything particularity useful. Not for $500 to be a mass market item.

The iPad certainly does not replace MY laptop...I doubt I'll even get an iPad, although I would very much like to have one...I just don't have the money, and I have a perfectly good MBP, lol. I do a lot more than the iPad allows. But it's exciting to see a product that has that iPod-like potential.

@ianf:
DPI is actually the physical characteristic of a printer, while PPI is the more accurate description for the number of pixels in screen resolution.
Just sayin'...

"If only they’d make printing available to the operating system and add a front facing camera for ichat"
So the iPad doesn't support 1/3 of the web, doesn't print, doesn't have a camera, etc. and this is supposed to kill my tm2 Tablet PC?
Whatever it is you're smoking I want some!

I don't know about whether the iPad will kill the Tablet PC. However, the Tablet PC wasn't originally intended as a touchscreen device, and it has never accumulated a large library of optimized software. There is nothing stopping developers from writing great touchscreen software for a MS Tablet PC (with a touchscreen of course), but then again, that's part of the problem -- there hasn't been anything holding developers back, and yet the software just isn't there.

@ Cardfan Lol! So you're comparing Windows 7 on a tablet to an OS that is tailor made for a finger based UI? You must be kidding. Everyone knows that full OS's do not work properly on a touch screen and that is why all of them have failed.
@Byron What Tablet do you know of that plays Blu Rays? And if there is, I'd like to know what the battery life is.

@Dennis,
You do have a valid point but one of the reasons that I actually welcome the iPad because I think this WILL inspire developers to write more touch application, for Windows. I think that there's a couple of dynamics at play here.
First of all, even though Tablet PCs are a niche, there are still millions out there. So it you are developing for the iPad and want to make maximized the investment or your effort, you right want to consider developing for the Tablet PC as well as porting your app might be worthwhile. Indeed many of the apps for the iPhone today are mutilplatform.
Secondly, as is the case with software in general, as it matures more features tend to be added. I can see tablet support being a big marketing draw as developers seek ways to enhance their existing products to get new customers and to get old customers to buy upgrades, feeding on the touch frenzy.
I see a little of that happening already with announcement of touch enabled games.

Nah you don't have to be an anal retentive blogger. You just have to be somebody who curls up with a book for several hours at a time, and somebody who stares at screens for hours at a time, to realize that the experiences are qualitatively different. For some, it causes eyestrain. For some it may not matter at all. For others, it will.

@Dragonfly,
My tm2 is perfectly capable of playing BDs from optical disc or ripped from hard drive. The tm2 dosen't have a built in optical drive and I've not tested that but from HD under balanced mode operation with WiFi turned off I'm seeing about 4 hours of play time.
If it were running directly off an external optical drive I'm sure thenumber would be much lower.

I am mostly buying the iPad for its screen. More specifically enjoying watching movies and reading ebooks that the iPhone couldn't do so well with its small screen. I don't care how powerful it is. If it can run my .pdf/.doc/.cbr and my .mov/.mp4 files I am happy. The web is just a nice bonus.

Comparing the iPad to MS's Tablet PC is like comparing apples (sic) to oranges.
MS's Tablet PC is MS Windows with handwriting functionality hacked on. The handwriting functionality is an extension to their desktop OS and because of that, it "in theory" can do everything a "normal" desktop can do.
BUT the problem with MS Tablet PC is that Windows is STILL a platform designed to work with a keyboard and mouse. You can "in theory" play WoW on a slate Tablet PC but it certainly isn't advisable.
The iPad (and the iPhone OS) was designed from the ground-up to be a touch-driven, consumer-oriented device. Despite being labelled a "Tablet", this device was not designed to compete with MS's Tablet PCs. WHY DON'T PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THIS?
(The few) people who still want a tablet with a Wacom digitiser for EMRs and handwriting applications will keep on buying MS Tablet PCs or the Modbook.
BTW comparing that TM2 to the iPad is crazy. The TM2 is $900 4.72lb convertible tablet. The iPad is a $500 1.5lb slate.
As for 1024x768... bad move. They'll have to increase the screen res in the future and that move will annoy developers. If they had started off with a higher res (say 1366x768), this transition wouldn't be required.

@Will
First of all, the handwriting functionality in Windows is a bit more than "hacked on". For instance I can write in OneNote or Windows Journal and that digital ink becomes a first class text citizen in Windows. I can the the Windows key, type what I'm look for in the search box and viola, Windows finds the document containing the HANDWRITTEN data, it never had to be converted to text, its still ink. That's far more than just "hacked on".
William said "I don’t care how powerful it is. If it can run my .pdf/.doc/.cbr and my .mov/.mp4 files I am happy. The web is just a nice bonus."
I've been doing all these things with a touch screen interface for over a year in Windows. You're confusing functionality with UI glitz. Sure a lot of this staff will look better, at least initially on an iPad until Until nicer apps are developed but there is enough touch support in Windows TODAY to do these things, and some of the apps, particularly when it comes to media playback, like Windows Media Center do have a least a little UI slickness to them.

Ya know, I don't ever remember seeing a Tablet PC being used in Star Trek, not any of the episodes, ever.
I do remember the PAD being used in almost every one.
Seems like we are on the edge of the future here,
maybe Gene Roddenberry's vision is comming true.
Think about it

I don't think the iPad will kill tablet pc's they serve different markets, and especially since apple has decided not to cater to students or artists in terms of a slate & inking etc. If he said it would kill the UMPC market, that i would have believed, since i do believe the iPad just to be what Microsoft envisioned for the UMPC.

@Byron - 'People love keyboards and mice'?
On what planet? People are used to keyboards and mice after 70 and 25 years, respectively, but they certainly took a long time to warm up to them. Point and gesture with a wave of hand or finger, speak to a device that responds with near human understanding, that's what people will love.

@Lady Kaede
If given the choice of having to use a mouse and keyboard versus a touch screen interface for day to day computing tasks, people OVERWHELMINGLY will take the keyboard and mouse. If it were the only interface choice, I know I would and I've been using tablets with both interfaces for years now. Hell, I've hand wrote all the posts on this blog. Did you? I do it just as a change of pace because I can but I would much prefer a keyboard full time. Pen and touch can augment keyboards and mice but pen and touch will never replace them.

@Byron
I know about the functionality that the Tablet PC provides as I've been using MS Tablet PCs with OneNote since my (painfully slow) Compaq TC1000. The problem with Tablet PCs is that the OS was NOT DESIGNED for pen input and because of that the majority of applications for Windows are not optimised for pen or touch functionality. The majority of applications specifically made for tablet PCs are targeted at very specific markets like hospitals.
However, it is obvious that the iPad and Tablet PC are COMPLETELY different products, targeted at different markets with a focus on different applications. You're probably not going to see too many doctors running around a hospital with an iPad running an EMR nor are you going to see too many people reading a book on the subway with a 4+lb $1500 tablet PC slate.

@MaZon
Didn't the PADD in the original Star Trek have a pen? Hmmm. That reminds me of something. Oh, I know, the tablet and pen I'm using to write this post!

@Will
I was thinking about setting the TC1000 back in the day as my first tablet but went with the Toshiba Protege.
What a difference a decade makes! I'm doing some stress testing for my tm2 review and right now I have a ripped BD (Star Trek 2009) playing on an external 1920×1200 and inking this post SIMULTANEOUSLY. The days of slow Tablet PCs is OVER.
You do have a point about Tablet PCs and iPads serving different needs. Of course. But you know a lot of people on that subway are already carrying a laptop. Why not just carry a Tablet PC. You can do that reading on it as well.
I guess I'll never understand the notion that 4 lbs is somehow all that heavy. Sure its heavier than 1.5 lbs but people carry books that weigh more than that all the time.

well if I can print from the iphone to my HP wireless printer I bet a million I can do it with a ipad. There's 10 apps for that.

Byron said: "I guess I’ll never understand the notion that 4 lbs is somehow all that heavy. Sure its heavier than 1.5 lbs but people carry books that weigh more than that all the time."
I see we have a fanatic in our midst - someone who cannot see the difference between a device that weighs 4.75 lbs (you were cheating there, Byron) and one that weighs 1.5 lbs.
For a quick reality check, most hardcover books weigh less than 2lb, and those that weigh more than that are bulky and quite cumbersome to hold - think of the latest Harry Potter novel. (Of course, bulk doesn't seem to worry Byron either - his Tm2 is at least three times as bulky as the iPad by volume!)
Put simply, the iPad first and foremost a HANDHELD device, designed for quick, grab and go use, and suitable for sustained periods of time in the hand. To this end it is:

  • Light
  • Thin
  • Instant on
  • Fast
  • Fluid
  • Flexible
  • Simple to use
  • Power-efficient

Moreover, every single piece of software is designed from the ground up for manipulation by touch/multitouch - as any good handheld device should be.
The TM2, quite clearly, is not designed for sustained periods of handheld use - compared to the iPad, it is heavy, bulky and cumbersome to hold AND to use.
Now, I'm not saying that the TM2 is a terrible COMPUTER - far from it. But, the notion that a lot of ordinary people are going to lug this type of monster device around from room to room, or pull it out to read a book or play a quick game on the train is, frankly, ludicrous - sorry, Byron.
Tablet PCs, as currently designed, are a niche product - they're basically laptops which can, at a pinch, be used for handhld use. But they're at their best when functioning in just the same way as a laptop - sitting on a lap or on a desk; and, if that is the case, why not just get a laptop? is it any wonder they haven't caught on?
I know one thing: the iPad is an infinitely more suitable portable, handheld device than a big, bulky, cumbersome, battery-devouring tablet PC. And, for the kind of light computing tasks for which it is designed, it is going to hit the sweet spot for many, many people as a quick, go to device.
Computing is not only going mobile, it is going handheld (whether that is a smartphone or a device like the iPad) and it is going mainstream - big time.

I'm reading these posts and many of you guys don't realize that Apple is not trying to replace anything. Why would they? Have you forgotten that they still sell laptops and desktop computers. It's like cutting your nose off in spite of your face. You are looking at it so closed minded but on the other hand you want to jailbreak your phone because you think Apple is closed minded by really not approving of it. All they are doing is allowing the world another option. When are some of you going to realize that every company has the right to introduce new products good bad or indifferent? Whether you as the consumer choose to by it or not? This is ridiculous. If you don't like it get over it. It's coming out next month it's gonna sell. And for people that say they don't like it or it isn't enough in what it offers to top it off not one o you have even touched one why are you commenting on it still? It's because deep down you really want one. Just admit it to yourself.

I just made the mistake of renewing my TMo contract with a G1 (open box @ $100), and am really wishing I'd waited until it expired and gone back to the iPhone (I had the first version). The G1 just doesn't cut it. But, perhaps an iPad could make up for it by giving the iPhone experience, but at a size that I often wished for when I did have an iPhone. Hmm...

I've had so much fun poking at the iPad ("MaxiPad"), but what do I know? I would have thought the Nintendo Wii would be the biggest flop of the century and just look at it go!

@Keepitreal:
Since you've not held a tm2 in your hands your comments about its weight and bulk are without merit.
Battery devouring? I'm getting 5 to 7 hours of battery life on my tm2.
You have valid some points. Indeed convertible tablets have had issues but I think that the hardware has FINALLY arrived in the form of the Intel CULV Core 2 Duos. Heat, battery life and performance are no longer issues.
At any rate its great to see new excitement in tablets and indeed there are plenty of people buying the tm2 because they are interested in tablets but are looking for something more flexible and not totally locked down. The iPad should do well, particularly after Apple sucks in the cash from early adopters and dramatically lowers the price. But it will still be just one platform and I think devs will be looking to develop for not only it, but the TPC and the Android devices as well.
Still I remember the day where I carried plenty of books around in my hands that weighed much more than 4.5 lbs. I understand that 1.5 lbs is much lighter. That still doesn't mean that 4.5 lbs is heavy.
With a nation that is fatter than ever a little more physical activity wouldn't kill anyone.

"Since you’ve not held a tm2 in your hands your comments about its weight and bulk are without merit."
I can read a spec sheet. Does the Tm2 not weigh more than three times what an iPhone weighs? Is it not twice as thick as an iPhone at its thinnest point, and three times as thick elsewhere? Besides, I have a MacBook which is comparable in size and weight to the Tm2, and I certainly wouldn't want to hold that in one hand for any length of time.
"Battery devouring? I’m getting 5 to 7 hours of battery life on my tm2."
Doing what? 10 hours of continuous looped video? And how many hours on standby?
"Still I remember the day where I carried plenty of books around in my hands that weighed much more than 4.5 lbs. I understand that 1.5 lbs is much lighter. That still doesn’t mean that 4.5 lbs is heavy."
Carrying 4.75 lbs is one thing, using it in your hands comfortably is quite another.
"Heat, battery life and performance are no longer issues."
Can you show me a tablet PC as thin, light and fast as an iPad with comparable battery life?

"I can read a spec sheet. Does the Tm2 not weigh more than three times what an iPhone weighs? Is it not twice as thick as an iPhone at its thinnest point, and three times as thick elsewhere? Besides, I have a MacBook which is comparable in size and weight to the Tm2, and I certainly wouldn’t want to hold that in one hand for any length of time."
I read the spec sheet too and much to my surprise the tm2 actually FEELS lighter when its help on portrait mode than the tx2 even though they weight the same, it much more balanced and there was thought put into holding it. Yes, it weighs the same basically as a MBP 13, but its much easier to hold in portrait mode. Admittedly, its not nearly as nice holding in landscape. It's just something that doesn't show up on a spec sheet.
"Doing what? 10 hours of continuous looped video? And how many hours on standby?"
5 hours playing 720p video and running both WiFi and Bluetooth radios is what my tests have shown. Not its not 10 hours but that's a paper spec, we'll need to see real world tests but I would expect the iPad of course to have better life. It's a lower power, lower function device, it should have better battery life and if those hours of runtime are critical it is a plus for something like the iPad.
"Carrying 4.75 lbs is one thing, using it in your hands comfortably is quite another. "
Once again you're looking at a paper spec. I've personally weighed my tm2, its right at 4.5 lbs, not a big deal, just 2 onces off there, just stating what I've seen with my own eyes.
But you bring up an EXCELLENT point. Carrying 4.5 lbs around versus holding it your hand is different, couldn't agree more. But even at 1.5 lbs, how long are you actually going to HOLD something like an iPad in your hand? Why not just use your phone which is much lighter then even an iPad? How much of the time are you ACTUALLY going to hold the device in your hand versus putting on a table or on an arm chair rest?
Where's the need to carry a higher function device than a phone but a lower function device than something like a tablet? eReading is probably a good function for this device in that regard. But after a while even holding a 1.5 lbs get old. With my tablet I can convert to laptop mode and it holds itself upright. My point is simply that weight along is not the only factor in determining a devices true portability. I don't know about you but I'd rather watch a movie even on the go with my screen up right if I'm sitting without having to prop it up.
"Can you show me a tablet PC as thin, light and fast as an iPad with comparable battery life?"
The HP Slate is on its way. There are others but my guess is that the HP Slate will be very good if the tm2 is any indication.
At any rate this market is complicated because now matter what tablet computers are something that the average consumer simply has little need or desire for more than anything else, especially with the power of smartphones these days. As secondary devices sure, they have there purposes. But people aren't going to be going gaga over a $500 secondary device when they can by PRIMARY computing devices for less. $400 buys as much portability and flexibility as the average person needs. There's the true problem with tablets in the consumer market. They are too expensive for secondary, or even tertiary devices with the rise of the smartphone. There's always exceptions to any rule, eReading, gaming. But that's not for most people at more than cost of a decent laptop these days.

No specs yet for the HP slate, though everything I've read suggests it will be in the 2.5 to 3 lb range, and significantly thicker than the iPad.
I see you are in complete denial about the weight issue.
"Where’s the need to carry a higher function device than a phone but a lower function device than something like a tablet? eReading is probably a good function for this device in that regard. But after a while even holding a 1.5 lbs get old."
Perhaps, but nowhere near as quickly as for your 4.5lb tm2. As for the NEED for such a device... Well, I for one can see the iPad fitting perfectly into my life. It does 90 per cent of what I need from a computer, in a form factor that is less fiddly than a smartphone and less bulky/cumbersome than a laptop or netbook. I just don't see why that's such a hard idea for someone to grasp.

"No specs yet for the HP slate, though everything I’ve read suggests it will be in the 2.5 to 3 lb range, and significantly thicker than the iPad."
3 lbs? There are convertible tablets that don't weight more than that. It'll be similar to the iPad I would bet.
"I see you are in complete denial about the weight issue."
No I'm not. A phone is still MUCH lighter.
"Perhaps, but nowhere near as quickly as for your 4.5lb tm2. As for the NEED for such a device… Well, I for one can see the iPad fitting perfectly into my life. It does 90 per cent of what I need from a computer, in a form factor that is less fiddly than a smartphone and less bulky/cumbersome than a laptop or netbook. I just don’t see why that’s such a hard idea for someone to grasp."
You're looking at it as weight above all else. I'm simply saying that most people are NEVER going to carry around anything more than a phone. Period. And what happens when some wants to write a document and surf the web and use Flash or for heavens sake want to download a torrent. MILLIONS of people do to these activities everyday.
It's light but MORE expensive than a computer that does what most people want and for true mobility most will use a phone. This is a problem for this form factor, be it an iPad, or a Tablet PC (though at least I can a damn Flash video on it and all the other stuff that people do with their computers) or name whatever mobile device you want.
The average person doesn't need this device at $500 especially. Now at $300 it becomes an impulse buy. Apple has offered nothing new in a device most don't need. That's just the truth that you want to deny. But like I said, this applies to the entire category not just Apple.
And at least when I get tired of typing on a touchscreen keyboard I can pull out a real on my tablet!

"The average person doesn’t need this device at $500 especially. Now at $300 it becomes an impulse buy. Apple has offered nothing new in a device most don’t need. That’s just the truth that you want to deny."
I guess we'll see when they hit the shelves. I do find it odd that you presume to know what most people need. All I know is, I know a lot of people are excited by the iPad and have no trouble in seeing how it fits into their lives. Not ALL people, but plenty, and way more than would ever be tempted by a tablet PC.

And, for the record, if you look at my first post (and others), you'll see I highlight far more issues than just weight.

“guess we’ll see when they hit the shelves. I do find it odd that you presume to know what most people need. All I know is, I know a lot of people are excited by the iPad and have no trouble in seeing how it fits into their lives. Not ALL people, but plenty, and way more than would ever be tempted by a tablet PC.”
I get people asking me about computer buying daily and very FEW want to spend even $500 on a full function machine. A $500 iPad and they’d laugh at me.
An iPad more tempting than a TPC. Well, duh, I would hope so for Apple’s sake! I’ve been dealing with tablet computers since before many around here were born. I know the issues around the TPC. That said most who rag on TPCs haven’t seen one in years. Indeed the tm2 is the FINEST consumer tablet ever built. It’s got a multi-touch and electromagnetic pen digitizer screen, 4.5lbs, great battery life, a well-built aluminum chassis, low heat and performance overall close to equal or BETTER (because of a dedicated GPU option) than a MBP 13 or any number of ultra-portable machines. This is a FIRST. You don’t give up ANYTHING with a tm2 for the roughly the same money. You actually GAIN features. It’s simply a fantastic machine, iPad or no.
And at least I can write on it like now. ULTIMATE functionality at the same price as less capable machines.

Byron, I'm glad you love your Tm2 - I really am. It sounds like a fine computer. But I need something small, fast and light; a true handheld device that is less confining than a smartphone, but without the downsides of a laptop or a traditional tablet PC.

Keepitreal, I understand that I really do. An iPad might just be exactly what you want. 10 years ago it would have been something far more interesting to me as well.
I love the TPC for its flexibility. You'll like the iPad for your reasons. My point was is that at $500 this WON'T be a mainstream device and I think you're looking at it from your perspective and not looking at it from a bigger picture. I thought that TPCs would take off more than they did because I was looking at it wrong.
The average person just wants to get done the tasks done that need for a low cost. That's really it. For what it costs TPCs don't do that unless you need some of its unique capabilities like digital ink. And for what the iPad costs and does, it doesn't either.
For eReadeing sure, and perhaps games. Web browsing with no Flash is hit or miss and for media playback? Sure there'll be some of that but in that case a conventional laptop would often be better suited for MANY reasons. Optical drives, more storage, and cheaper.
The history of this devices has been WHY spend the money? Apple hasn't answered than question any better than anyone in the past. Not for $500.

Keepitreal,
How do you plan to use your iPad? I'm honestly curious. You say a smartphone is too confining and a laptop/conventional tablet have downsides.
One of the primary ways I use my TPC is in the bed in tablet mode for web surfing, eReading (more so since the Kindle client), and messaging. An iPad can do those things but with a lot of draw backs. No Flash and I tend to hand write a lot of my stuff in the bed because I'm on lying on my side. Much faster to write in that situation for me personally than an on screen keyboard.
And in that situation weight, thickness and power consumption are irrelevant (I just plug it in).
I've given the subject of tablet not only a lot of thought but after years of having them I know EXACTLY how a tablet computer works for me because I've ACTUALLY used them, most people haven't.
I would appreciate your feedback.

People are buying iPod Touches by the bucketload at $199, $299 and $399. I see no reason to suppose why they wouldn't spend a little more for the extra performance and usability of an iPad. I think they'll pick them up in an Apple Store and be wowed by the same great experience they get from their iPod Touches, only now it will be writ large on a gorgeous big screen. They'll buy them, and they'll use them, and their friends and families will be wowed and buy them too. Meanwhile, Apple will use all it's marketing prowess to show how the iPad can fit into people's lives. You're right, $500 is quite a chunk of change, but this is a lifestyle product and it will find a big audience.

Keepitreal,
People will see it and be wowed by them? This is a lifestyle product? But how will they use them? Marketing speak will work with the Apple faithful sure, but a big audience isn't simply going to buy this product because its "wowy".
I asked you a very simple question. What do you want to do with this device? How will it serve a need in your life that isn't served now?
Obviously you're a fan of the product and if you can't answer that question DIRECTLY AND SIMPLY when someone asks then no, this product isn't going to fly off the shelves at $500 other than to the Apple faithful.

Also remember that the iPad is going to have company as well for that same $500 and a device like the HP Slate will have some advantages, being a Windows 7 computer it will seamlessly work with other Windows machines, particularly Windows 7 machines that you own. Like taking a recorded moved or downloaded torrent and simply copying it over to the Slate. And it WILL print over WiFi in your house. Using Office.
That's "wowy" too.

Byron, my post above was in response to your previous question regarding the PRICE of the iPad, not the question that followed about how I would use it. I did not see your follow-up question until I had posted my reply, but by then I was busy with other things.
So, how would I use the iPad? Easy. I will use it CASUALLY in much the same way as I would use a notepad, magazine or paperback book; it is something that I can easily pick up and put down anywhere in the house, and which will always be ready to use the instant I pick it up, without having to worry about a power brick or cable being close to hand. It's small and light enough to hold in one hand, or to support lightly in my lap, or even to lie next to me on the armrest of my sofa. I'll use it in bed, in the den, in the kitchen (for recipes), in the living room, and in the office.
I will use it for reading ebooks, newspapers, magazines; to check and respond to emails, check and update my calendar, jot down quick notes, update my budget spreadsheet, create, edit and proof-read documents, plan projects, surf the web and play games - all of which will be be far more pleasurable, immediate and immersive than on a a bulkier laptop/netbook, which I would have to prop-open on my knees, or on a smartphone which is too small for extended use and more intensive computing tasks.
For me, the killer features of the iPad are precisely those that I listed before:

  • Light
  • Thin
  • Instant on
  • Fast
  • Fluid
  • Flexible
  • Simple to use
  • Power-efficient

Put simply: the slim, light form factor, combined with the long battery life, big screen, and dedicated multi-touch interface will make the iPad even more pleasurable to use than my iPhone - and I already love using my iPhone. But the experience will be so much better on that big screen.
I have little doubt that I will soon get used to tapping out notes and emails with the onscreen keyboard, and when I really need to crank out some words, I'll just drop it into the keyboard dock or use one of the myriad BlueTooth keyboards that are bound to appear. Crucialy, though, the keyboard will not get in the way when I'm reading, flipping through a book, watching a movie or playing a game.
I spend a lot of time flying, and have always found it awkward using a laptop on those tiny tables attached to the back of the seat - the smaller footprint of the iPad and not having to have the screen open vertically will be a boon in these situations.
I also see this as a social device, passed easily between family to share photos, movies, magzine articles or to play games. Again, the form factor, weight and drop-dead simple interface are critical in these situations.
As for your references to the "wowy" factor. I used the verb "wow", which means "to greatly impress" or "to arouse great enthusiasm". I never used the word "wowy"; that was your term - in fact, I don't even think it is actually a word.
What I meant when I said people would be "wowed" by the iPad, is that they will love its slimness, lightness, smoothness, speed and performance, and some - not everyone - will immediately see how it will fit into their lives. For some, this kind of lean, slimmed down computing experience will be all the computer they need, most of the time.
The iPad doesn't have to replace a laptop or smartphone, though for some it will be their primary, go to device. For others, it will simply complement their existing devices, filling the gap where a smartphone is too cramped and fiddly, and a laptop/Tablet PC is overkill.
Finally, the great thing about the iPhone is that it is almost instantly understandable by anyone, and the same applies to the iPad. That will be a huge benefit for the vast swathe of people who find computers a chore to use.
And yes, there will undoubtedly be competition, but it will have match the usability, build-quality and ecosystem attached to the iPad. Meanwhile, Apple, too, will continued to improve the IPad, both in software and hardware. Bring it on.
 
    
 
  

Keepitreal,
Sounds like you're going to love the iPad!
All of the experiences that you described however are already being done with devices people already have however and that's what I think you're missing.
Could this device be useful? Certainly. I'm thinking about getting either an iPad or HP Slate to use as an extra screen when I need it.
But for all of the wonder you see in an iPad it has SERIOUS flaws. The biggest being is its lack of ANY type of browser extensions, not just Flash. For a device of this size that's BIG a problem.
Basically the iPad overall in essence isn't that different from the slew of tablet devices that have proceeded it. It makes some trade offs. Yes its relatively light compared to a laptop or convertible but it's going to suck as a web browser for a lot of people who just want to use the web.
But this is a Rev 1 product, I'm sure it'll get better and that Apple will address the issues of its customers over time.
Even the lowly Tablet PC has evolved over it seven year history to the point that a device like the tm2 has come to fruition.
Unlike every other TPC I've owned the tm2 makes almost NO COMPROMISES.
But I'm glad to see people interested in tablets. Apple has a ability to get people excited about things that no other company can, even with a fairly primitive device like an iPad.
I think that iPad could help TPC community TREMENDOUSLY. Indeed the iPad has heightened interest in the HP Slate and HP hasn't even said much about it.
what interesting times we live in indeed.

I am no more overlooking flaws in the iPad, than you are in living with the weight of your tm2.
It seems we want different things, and that's fine. To me, your tm2 is seriously flawed for the situations in which I would want to use it; likewise my iPhone is seriously compromised by its size and battery life for some of the things I'd like to do with it.
I see the iPad as bridging that gap nicely - for me and for plenty of others.

As I've said I understand the issues with something like a tm2. But there's plenty of upside as well. The full web. I'm not stuck with only an onscreen keyboard, I can plug in an SD card or flash drive without a dongle. I've got full productivity tools, media playback and editing tools. I've got an integrated web cam for video calls.
So its the difference between a big book and a small book in terms of everyday objects. The book is heavier but with more pages.
It's a trade off just like the trade off that you make with an iPad. Lighter weight and better battery life versus complete functionally and less lock in.
The iPad may indeed be the perfect device. If Steve Jobs says so then plenty of the Apple faithful will think so. Maybe the iPad can provide a compelling experience for the average person. I've never said that it couldn't. But it CERTAINLY can't replace a full function computer for 99% out there simply because of the broken web experience.
I simply don't see how a magical device can be so with a broken web experience and thus the need to have another device anyway. But maybe people won't use it much for web browsing or won't care.
There's just a lot of questions and not a lot of answers about this device. Once again the same as any tablet device.

The web experience isn't "broken". 90% of flash on the web is ads, and I have those turned off in my computer's browser by default anyway. YouTube and others have already moved to H.264; and more will follow as we move away from resource intensive, outdated proprietary plugins like Flash.
I have never once said that there aren't trade-offs to be made. You've made your choice - be happy. You want all the bells and whistles, slots here, slots there, media editing, built-in hardware keyboard etc. That's fine. But you have a device that is impossible to use in the way that the iPad is intended to be used.
As you point out, the iPad "certainly can't replace a full function computer for 99% (of people?) out there". Completely true. However, it MAY become the computer that many people will turn to MOST of the time for their everyday computing needs. "Size", "weight", "speed", "design", "erganomics" and "usability" trump raw functionality when you are talking about a go-to handheld device, and the iPad scores big in all those areas.
And with that, I bid you adieu. No real point in discussing this any further. Your tm2 meets your needs, the iPad meets mine. End of story.

Currently 75% of all web video is still Flash based and that doesn't count all of the Flash applications out there. There are going to be a lot of unsavy people who buy these things thinking that they'll be able to surf the web like on their desktops or laptops and are going to be in for a bit of a surprise. I GUARANTEE that. How big of a problem that will be I have no idea.
For people how don't actually use their computers to be productive, sure something like an iPad could replace a full function computer.
Enjoy your iPad!

@phalanx
That's what Adobe says, now of course their numbers are probably skewed but honestly, just go random web searching. Flash is EVERYWHERE. Not just video but games, gadgets in web pages, and entire sites, like all the movie sites, pretty much Flash.

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